The Project Manager Blog

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4 Steps to Prevent your Projects from Stalling

When we hear the term stall we usually think about a motor vehicle that stops running while we’re driving it. While there’s no good time for a car to stall, there’s nothing worse than stalling while changing lanes in the middle of rush hour traffic on a busy interstate. Actually, come to think of it, there is something worse: a plane that stalls mid-flight. An aerodynamic stall is a bit different, in that it’s not that the engines give out (which is pretty bad as well), it’s that the lift that is necessary to keep the plane in the air is no longer there. This is caused when the an...
68

Things Are Not Always What they Appear to Be

I thought I was doing a pretty good job as a project manager. I was responsible for managing projects for our company’s flagship accounts plus a number of smaller projects as they came up. I had never received anything other than a ‘1’ (the best ranking) on my employee performance reviews for many years. Our clients were quiet and happy, there were no issues surrounding the other projects, and things seemed to be going just fine. That was until I received an instant message, completely out of the blue from someone I didn’t expect. I was in the middle of a conference call with one of...
71

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Project Documents

“Where can I find the Project Charter?” one of my project team members asked the other day. “And have you got a template for a business case? One of my mentoring group wants to write one and I said not to bother to do it from scratch and that I would ask you first.” I’m glad that my project team have taken the same approach as I have to project documents. In other words, we use the phrase that has been adopted by environmental groups: reduce, reuse, recycle. The best way to streamline the overhead for project management documentation is to not spend so much time on it! And the ...
64

Project Dashboards

Using project dashboards and project software can help you be more effective as a project manager. Watch this short training video to learn more... ...
91

Project Quality Management 101

How do you know if your project is going well? You have a good project schedule, robust risk management, a happy, well-motivated project team and a supportive project sponsor. But nothing on projects is guaranteed! Even the best project managers, running the most effective project management processes struggle sometimes, and that’s where quality management can help. Quality management is a set of processes and activities that is designed to assess projects and help them (and the project manager) succeed. Quality processes include a number of techniques that you might have heard of, such a...
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How To Make Life Easier for a Project Sponsor

I have worked with a lot of project sponsors over the years, and one thing I always ask them when I start working on a project is, “What do you want me to do for you?” This little question allows me to start a discussion about how the project sponsor wants to receive project reports and other communications, how they want to find out about status, whether they want to be copied in on certain messages or whether they basically want me to leave them alone unless I have a problem that I can’t solve myself. I’ve asked lots of sponsors this question, and they have all said different t...
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Are You Doing a Good Job

How do you know whether you are doing a good job? Normally, that means relying on your line manager or project sponsor to point out where you could be doing better, or saying thank you for a job well done. Most companies operate a performance review process which relies on the individual and their manager setting targets at the beginning of the year and then following this up towards the end of the year by checking how you have done against the targets. All of these methods, though, are just one person giving you feedback: and it is normally your boss. There is a better way to get feedback,...
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6 Easy Time Management Tips

How much can you get done in a day? I bet, like me, you wish there were more hours. Not necessarily for project work (although that would also be nice) but also for the fun stuff with family and friends! You can make more use of your day if you manage your time effectively. Here are some time management tips to share with your project team (and your family and friends, if you like) that will really help you stay focused and productive. Which means more time for the things you really want to do! 1. Use A Task List Task lists stop you forgetting what you are supposed to be focused on that d...
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Project Suppliers

Learn from our project management expert about selecting and working with your project suppliers. ...
128

6 Questions To Ask About Your Project

Being given a new project to work on is a great thing. It shows that management are keen on your work and that they are happy for you to take on new assignments. If the project is complex or strategically significant, it shows that they appreciate that you can take on challenging work. When you start any new project, there are certain questions that you should ask. These help you start the project in the most effective way, and will help you deliver it in appropriately, with the right focus on the right topics. Here are 6 questions to ask when you start your new project. 1. What’s The De...
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